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Coal Plant Owners Invest In Upstate New York's Biggest Solar Farm

By Brian Spaen

The company behind a coal-fired plant in New York is getting into the solar industry. Cayuga Operating Company (COC) is in the process of opening up the largest solar farm in Upstate New York. It will create a significant source of energy while also spawning many job opportunities.

Cayuga Solar will be opening up in Tompkins County next to the coal plant. The idea was formed when the planning department discovered that the area could generate around 270 megawatts of energy from the sun at full capacity. 18 megawatts from 75 acres of solar panels will be the size of this solar farm, which will cost $25 million and should be able to power over 3,000 homes.

Capacity for solar energy still falls short of the 323 megawatts required to power the population in this area. However, Ed Lavigne, Lansing’s town supervisor, says in an article from Ithaca the potential is there and efficiency will only improve.

“This is a giant lab. This is a time to see how much energy we can draw out of these things and what way we can do it. This will be huge going forward as we try to partner with other transitional fuels. As you know, solar isn’t there by itself yet: this is a giant step forward."